Everyday I look out the picture window and admire the view. You see, my living room picture window is like being in a theater with a front row seat to nature as it unfolds in front of me. My view allows me to see first hand the wonders of Mother Earth every minute of the day, 365 days a year.
I mark the seasons as the migratory birds come and go in a pattern I am just beginning to understand and appreciate. Last night I was delighted to see the return of the heron. And the other day I watched as the eagle attempted to make lunch out of a duck. Other days I gaze at storm clouds gathering before moving across the waters.
Each of these marvels reminds me of the important balance of nature as the seasons turn throughout the year. I am quite blessed with this view and hope that I never take it for granted.
My eyes caught the drama while I was on hold on the phone. I ran to the office to tell my daughter to come look. I must admit the scene was so riveting that I was hoping my connection would not be made just yet. There was too much action happening outside my window.
“Another close call!
We were talking to the merganser duck that was swimming in the lake outside our living room window. The eagle had spotted the lone fowl and was hovering above, hoping for lunch. The majestic bird was persistent in its practice. Swooping down each time the duck popped up. Fortunately each time the eagle neared, the merganser swam back down deep into the waters.
This back and forth proceeded for five minutes as we watched in total awe. The actions of each bird was amazing with the duck bobbing up and down and the eagle watching under the waves and hovering close.
Finally the eagle had enough, or was too tired to continue, and flew to a nearby tree. And the merganser swam off, shaking off its wings in a seemingly relieved manner. The drama ending as quickly as it started. And I went back to my phone call, still waiting on hold, but smiling at the distraction from the drama in the skies.
I found myself with a day off and decided the time was right to sort through my bins of photos and albums. The bins haven’t been touched since moving here seven years ago. I knew that some organizing was overdue!
I pulled all the bins from the shelf and opened a few. Being only 11am I knew I could spend the day pouring through the albums and boxes reminiscing, or crying, or laughing. I made the decision to stay focused on sorting and making piles.
As a young mother I had been fastidious about making albums of the lives of our three children. A book for each child chronicling the important events in their lives. That stopped when they became busy teenagers and boxes of photos replaced the books. I figured someday I’d go back to make albums with the pictures that filled the multitude of boxes laying in front of me.
I sorted into piles trying to make sense of it all. The masking tape labels of whose photos were contained in that album was faded and illegible now so guessing was in order. I created stacks of boxes, a stack for each child, and a stack of albums from trips that were ready for display on a shelf.
With sorting completed I wondered what I should do next? My goal was to get them off the cellar shelf and into a more convenient space. How should I proceed? I decided to simply let the piles sit and let the mess percolate into a grand scheme. I know given some space and time, the right idea will come to me.
In the meantime I’m grateful I have the space in my lakefront room to let this mess be!
I often play guessing games with myself when I have to conquer a task. This morning it was estimating the number of bags of leaves I’d have from the neat piles I created yesterday.
I had an hour to complete the work. I consider the piles and thought I could get all the leaves to fit in four reasonable sized bags! I had to lug them up front so I wanted to make sure I was being realistic in my guess. After 20 minutes I had filled four bags. Time to reconsider so I upped my guess to six bags!
After filling bag number five I thought the rest of the leaves could easily fit in one more bag. Rake, load, push. Almost there! Yes I made them all fit in six bags. But lifting that bag out of the barrel was next to impossible. My quest to meet my estimate made my task best to impossible.
I laughed at myself as I was emptying half the bag of leaves into a clean bag bringing my total to seven bags!
We had just about finished our bike ride on the Long Pine Key Nature Trail in the Everglades national Park when our National Park guide asked us to stop for a moment.
“Close your eyes.”
“Listen to the sounds around you.”
“Pay attention to quiet.”
“The Everglades are whispering!”
The guide made note that the Everglades are a quiet place to enjoy. There is no grand wow moment like we experience when first seeing Sequoia National Park, or Grand Canyon, or Yellowstone. Yet, we still need to appreciate and protect this fragile area.
I was moved by these words. They have stuck with me for the week since I first heard them. I think of the fragility of the land and ponder what I can do to better help protect our delicate ecosystems. How can I be a better steward of our national parks and our planet earth?